March 1, 2011

The Delph Brothers - George Roland

George Roland was born April 2, 1883, the sixth child and second son of Elizabeth and Philip Delph. 

There is still much research to be done in uncovering documentation of his early years, but we know, as with his siblings, George was born in Monroe Township, Malinta Village, Henry County, Ohio and educated in the local schools.

The first enumeration of young George available is the 1900 census.  He is listed as a single 17 year old, living with his parents, six brothers and sisters.  Where his brother Ottis, seven years his senior, is noted as a “day laborer”, George has apparently not yet taken on the full responsibilities of adulthood, as there is no occupation noted.

On August 11, 1906, George was married to Emma Elizabeth Schulze.  Emma, German by birth,  moved to America with her parents and older sister, in 1893 at the age of seven.

1910 was a busy year for this young family.  A “timeline” maintained by Emma (on the back of a large 1915 marketing calendar) states that George and Emma bought into the store (owned by Otis) on January 7th for $1,264.34.  February 24th brought the birth of their first child, Carl William.  Accordingly, the 1910 Census, taken in April, shows George as the Head of House with Emma, his wife of 3 years, and a two month old son, Carl.

Death comes to all families, to some sooner than others, but before 1920 they had lost Emma’s mother and grandmother, George’s father, and their second son, James Philip.   James was born May 2, 1915.  A notation made in the family “timeline” for 1916 is  “James got sick in Feb”.  It goes on to say, “Had hired girl, Hazel all summer, and Fay started in fall.”  This is probably Fay Ordway, niece and close neighbor to George and Emma.  It is also likely that Hazel and Fay were hired more for the care of older brother Carl, than for James.  In 1917 George and Emma travel to Chicago with James, where he is subsequently operated on in Dec.  The family Bible reads “James Philip Delph Born May 2 -1915 Left us for his Heavenly Home April 14 - 1918 Cerebral Apoplexy”.  A quick search online of “Apoplexy” gives several references to “epilepsy” which is known to sometimes have a genetic component.  It’s fortunate for those in the next two generations, with diagnosed seizure disorders, the outcomes have been far more favorable than for little James.

Marie Elizabeth, named for both grandmothers, was born October 15, 1921.  Marie would have been the first to admit holding the title of “Daddy’s Little Girl”.  A second daughter, Helen Emma, was born September 4, 1926.  Helen was not yet 4 months old, when she too “Left us for Her Heavenly Home,” dying of whooping cough on December 26, 1926.

At the age of 46, George became a father for the fifth time when on July 21, 1929, George Roland Delph, Jr. was born.  Nicknamed “Junior”, he is the only living child of George and Emma.  The 1930 Census lists George and Emma with three children, Carl W. - 20, Marie E. - 8 and George R., Jr.- 8/12 (8 mos.).

While raising a family, George continued to work jointly with his brother until Otis retired in 1949.  George maintained the store and retired himself after 50 years.

We learn from George’s obituary that he was very active in community affairs and organizations.  The Malinta Board of Education,  the Village Council, Volunteer Fire Department, Knights of Pythias Lodge and the Trinity Lutheran Church all benefited from the numerous years of service, generously given by George, in the town of Malinta.  Perhaps the greatest gift George gave to his family was his spirit of community and volunteerism.  Countless towns and organizations continue to benefit from those same principles and values passed down through the generations.

On October 10, 1962, George died of a heart attack in his much loved Malinta home.  He and Emma are both buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Napoleon, Ohio.

George and Emma Delph on their 50th anniversary - 1956

Thanks so much to my guest blogger, Deb Larson, a direct descendant of George Roland.  She is one of my fellow researchers on the Delphs, providing lots of good information and many photos to add to our understanding of the family.

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